Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Hallamshire House. My new favourite pub

Thornbridge have done it again, put a shed load of money into refurbishing a pub in Sheffield. I was only here for one pint (Jaipur brewed with Belgian yeast) and was given a quick tour by Reluctant Scooper.

I like the Greystones but I like this more. Small rooms at the front of the pub with a central bar area connecting to large rooms at the back. One of these has flocked wallpaper and a full size snooker table.

I think next time we're going to have to get there early and sink a few snooker balls as well as pints.

The Hallamshire House,
49-51 Commonside,
S10 1GF

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Beest Inside...

... tells me I must return to Beeston several times a year. And drink.
Beeston is a town just under 4 miles from Nottingham. For years it's been known by folk as a boozing destination simply because the Victoria Hotel has such a good reputation for its ale and its food. There are a couple of other good reasons to head there too.

Well kept cask ale is to be found in The Crown Inn, a multi-roomed pub on Church Street. Since it became part of the Everards Project William scheme the licensee can sell more or less whatever ale they want.

There were 14 cask ales on but I wasn't there to work my way through the list, sticking to a couple of pints. The Dark Drake stout by Dancing Duck was smooth and chocolatey, the best beer in the brewery's range I reckon.
Afterwards I chose Leatherbritches Bounder. Faint whiff of eggs. Taste of lemon zest. A decent pale blonde 3.8% beer at about £2. The pub was very busy. It's always busy.

A couple of minutes walk away on Chilwell Road is the Local Not Global deli.
It's a small place but stocks some impressive beers alongside some nice looking food. I noticed some Oakham Ales and Magpie bottles but my eyes were immediately drawn to the shelf crammed with Buxton and Thornbridge.
Moor Top, Buxton Best, Wild Boar, Kill Your Darlings, Raven, Versa...

The obvious last stop for drinks has to be the The Victoria Hotel on Dovecote Lane. It's easy to relax here knowing the railway station is only a short walk away. You know this place, up to 15 beers on and always a stout or porter and a mild. A good mix of ales local and from further afield. Another popular pub, a visit usually involves walking from room to room scanning for seats, and it was no different this time. I should mention that the Vic and the Crown don't have TVs, fruit machines or pool tables, this is a plus in my opinion. The Crown has a dartboard.

If you're thinking of visiting Beeston give these places a look.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Kevin Goes Scooping

Sheffield is the city Kevin feels most at home in. Here's a short film, part of a previously unseen collection documenting his life.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Wagons Roll.... I'm Off!

After sixteen days of unintended abstinence it was time to reacquaint myself with beer.

I'd received a box of Summer Wine Brewery bottles earlier in the week and was dying to try some. On Friday I got the itch I could only scratch with a pale ale.
Summer Wine Hermes Pale Ale it was to be. An hour in the fridge whilst I got restless.
19 hundred hours and the bottle was opened and poured. I had a good long sniff; I couldn't even remember what beer smelt like, let alone tasted like.

Trust Summer Wine not to disappoint, the Hermes was gorgeous. Masses of grapefruit. Unpretentious. Unfussy. Just damn good refreshing pale ale.

What the next day required was a hobble to the Swan and Rushes for a pint of Oakham JHB. Another hop-fix but at only 3.8%abv. It did the job and I was feeling reckless so I ordered a pint of Oakham Redneck.
Redneck is one of those beers Oakham originally brewed as a special for Peterborough beer festival. It's now brewed once a year on the small kit at the Brewery Tap as part of their Oakademy of Excellence.
It's not one of my favourite Oakham ales, it's a bit unbalanced for my palate. With a red ale I'd expect a lot of malt and body to the beer, but this is all about the hops.

My stomach craved chunky chips and they were only a three minute walk away at The Font. Still the best pub chips in Leicester until I find better. I've had my eyes on the chips in The Pub, maybe I should give them a go.
The chips were floury on the inside and crispy on the outside. Filling. Washed down with a pint of almost tasteless Vedett Extra Blond I was stuffed.

That was it. Enough. Back home to feel a hangover developing. Yes, a hangover after three pints.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Seven Dry Days

Just over a week ago I enjoyed a half of kegged Magic Rock Brewing Dark Arts Surreal Stout. My wife had brought back a carry out from the Sheffield Tap.
It was a special treat, not only because the beer itself is currently the best UK stout around, but because I wouldn't usually be drinking alcohol on a Tuesday evening.

On Thursday all hell broke loose in my guts. A stomach ache grew into what I realised was appendicitis.
I was taken to A&E and given several doses of morphine.
By the time I finally went to theatre on the Friday afternoon the appendix had ruptured, filling my abdomen with poisonous pus.

A thirty minute keyhole op took two hours.

And here I am, still in hospital. Recovery is slow. The high temperatures and vomiting have been really unpleasant. I'll be here a while yet.
Messages of support on Twitter have been really heart warming and have brought tears to my eyes. There really are some lovely people out there.
Hopefully I'll see you soon out there, not on a dry day.

Location:Woodborough Rd,Leicester,United Kingdom